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OCT Environmental Profiles
Climate change in Greenland Source: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
Example of effect of sea-level rise Simulation for Papeete, French Polynesia, with airport at present Same view, after sea-rise of 88 cm.
What is an environmental profile? n A concise (10 pages) document for each territory: n n describing the main environmental issues ; giving sufficient background to put these issues in context; giving basic data about the organisational infrastructure ; giving details of participation in international environmental agreements, cooperative partnerships and networks. n Environment includes climate change and natural hazards. n Special emphasis on socio-economic impacts, livelihoods, poverty.
Why an environmental profile? 1. To feed discussions on the environment and possible consequences environmental trends may have on OCTs socio-economic development. 2. More specifically, to assist the EU in programming its EDF assistance to the OCTs.
Methodology & Timing n n n Basically a desk study Questionnaire Feedback ………………. . 2006 ………………… July August September October November Drafting of EPs Feedback from OCTs, finalisation of EPs Draft EPs Final EPs
About the OCTs: Diversity From n n n n n Latitude…………. Longitude…………………. Land area (x 1000 km 2) EEZ ………. (x 1000 km 2) Population. . …(x 1000) Population density (/km 2) GDP/capita…… (€’ 000) Remoteness……(km. )…. No. of inhabited islands… To GR 83˚N 90˚S BA W&F 176˚E 166˚W NC PIT 0. 05 2166 GR SP&M 12 5500 FP PIT 0. 05 275 FP GR 0. 03 538 MAY BVI 38. 5 2. 2 MAY 24 2700 1 113 Aruba FP
About the OCTs: Commonalities n n n (Small) islands or archipelagos Small population Vulnerable economies Natural hazards: incidence and vulnerability A number of factors are of disproportionate importance: n n n biodiversity, endemism OCTs account for 0. 02% of world population, 2. 7% of area, but 16% of world’s freshwater strategic importance
Natural hazards and OCTs TDC Volcanic ASC Seismic Tsunami Severe risk Moderate risk Low risk W&F WIND Hurricane T&C STPM STH PIT NLA NC MON MAY GR FP FLK CAY BVI ARU ANG Cyclone/
OCTs and the environment n Environmental problems characterised by n Complexity: long chains of effects n Interrelatedness n n Between environmental aspects Between environment and economy
Example of complexity: coral reefs GLOBAL fossil fuel combustion GLOBAL Deforestation LOCAL Unsustainable tourism LOCAL Unsustainable fishing LOCAL Other pressures Greenhouse gas emissions Exacerbates Extreme weather events Sea and wave damage Acidification Damage Mitigates Habitat for fish Rising sea and air temp. Bleaching Sea level rise Drowning Destruction, sedimentation, nutrients Services Protects spawning grounds Tourist attraction Sand replenishment
Dealing with complexity: DPSIR model Responses: • Designation protected areas a su res • Sewage treatment Me • Recycling • Adaptation g rin ito n Mo Drivers: Pressures: State: Impacts: • Population • Sewage discharges • Warmer air / water • Loss of habitat, wildlife • Traffic • Waste • Polluted water • Coastal retreat • Development • CO 2 emissions • Reduced fish catch • Industry • Overfishing • Reduced tourism
3 major environmental issues in OCTs n n n Climate change Solid waste Biodiversity
Issue 1: Climate change has following features which distinguish it from other environmental problems: Global n. Long-term n. Some of the science is uncertain n. Wide range of different effects n. Some scenarios are catastrophic n
Climate change and small tropical islands PRESSURES STATE . . . IMPACTS. . . Physical coastal erosion, inundation GHG emissions Deforestation Climate change Rise in temperatures Rise in sea level More extreme weather degradation coral reefs Socio-economic direct econ. costs tourism fisheries salinisation of soils & groundwater health issues disruption communities agriculture
Climate change in Greenland PRESSURES GHG emissions PHYSICAL IMPACTS GLOBAL IMPACTS Global deforestation Rising global sea-level Thermohaline circulation Melting ice-sheet flux of (fresh) water SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS Impacts on fisheries Changes in drainage / hydrology higher air and water temps Wildlife loss Impacts on society, traditional customs Changes in ecosystems / habitat Opening of new navigational possibilities Loss of sea-ice Impacts on infrastructure Changes in permafrost STATE
Vulnerability to climate change Vulnerability OCTs Remarks High ANG, ARU, BVI, FP, NLA, Low-lying areas, tourism-dependent T&C, CAY, FP GR Threats to sea-ice, fisheries, wildlife, permafrost MAY Large population in low-lying areas MON More intense natural events NC Cyclone-prone, fishing industry PIT Risk of drought Medium FLK STH STPM Fishery dependent Some threat to agric. & fisheries Flooding and erosion of low-lying areas
Issue 1: Climate change – CO 2 emissions n OCTs account for <0. 1% of CO 2 emissions, will bear disproportionate impact. n But, look at per capita emissions. Source: US Department of Energy CO 2 Information Analysis Centre (CDIAC)
Issue 2: Solid waste in OCTs Main challenges n. Lack of critical size to make modern WM facilities costeffective n. Lack of facilities, critical size, markets to make recycling and composting feasible nlack of public awareness n. Hazardous waste Problems noted in following: ARU, CAY, MAY, NC, NLA, PF, STH (+ ASC+TDC), W&F
Issue 3: Biodiversity Conservation The OCTs are very rich in biodiversity, including many endemic and endangered species: n. New Caledonia contains the highest number of endemic species in the Pacific: 2500 plants, 20 freshwater fish, 60 reptiles, 25 birds, 6 mammals n. The UK overseas territories contain at least 10 x as many endemic species as the UK itself. n. Gough Island, a WH site in TDC, is one of the most important sea-bird colonies in the world, with 22 species breeding on island, some threatened.
Issue 3: Biodiversity Conservation Why conserve biodiversity? n n Because of international obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Because the wildlife is one of the major assets of the islands, a source of actual or potential livelihoods and food (tourism, fishing)
Issue 3: Biodiversity Conservation Main threats to biodiversity: n. Habitat loss and fragmentation n. Introduced species n. Overharvesting MEAs such as the CBD, Ramsar, Convention on Migratory Species, CITES provide instruments to help conserve biodiversity (designation of protected areas, preparation of management plans), but these have not yet been properly implemented in law by many OCTs.
Some first tentative conclusions 1. 2. Generally no conflict between general development objectives and environmental objectives. On the contrary, the protection of the environment, marine and terrestrial habitats and wildlife is crucial to the economic and social wellbeing of territories. Most decision-makers are aware of the need to ensure their development is sustainable. However awareness needs to be translated into formal and legal safeguards: provisions for EIA, full implementation of MEAs, etc.
Some first tentative conclusions (contd. ) 3. n n Climate change Some OCTs are amongst the most vulnerable in the world to climate change. All will be significantly affected. OCTs need to take all possible measures to impress on the world community the need for strong action to reduce GHG emissions. At the same time, adaptation needs to be mainstreamed into development planning. Possible actions include: - form alliances with regional and international groupings to make sure the voice of the OCTs is heard by the world community; - participate in research projects for which they are suited in regional or global partnerships, so as to reduce uncertainties; - maintain credibility by setting a good example; - public awareness campaigns.